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Gregg Popovich explains why players like Thunder’s Chris Paul are rare nowadays

A lot of people doubted Chris Paul after he was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder this offseason. Not San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

Following the Spurs 114-106 win over Oklahoma City, Popovich spoke on what makes Paul so special in today’s NBA.

“It’s less common than one would think. There aren’t one or two of those on every NBA team. Some NBA teams don’t have any. So, he’s a special dude,” Popovich said per Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman.

After a disappointing end to Paul’s short Rockets career, the 34-year-old was shipped off to a Thunder squad that was supposed to be starting a long rebuild after trading both Paul George and Russell Westbrook.

Instead, Paul has been a leader for Oklahoma City and has mentored young stars like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. As a result, the Thunder are the sixth seed in the Western Conference at 32-22 and are way ahead of schedule on the supposed rebuild.

Against Popovich and the Spurs, Paul dropped a season-high 31 points and seven assists while 50 combined points from LaMarcus Aldridge and Dejounte Murray led the San Antonio to the win.

Now in his 15th NBA season, Paul is showing that he can still be one of the best point guards in the league. Paul earned his 10th All-Star nod this season after averaging 17.2 points, 6.6 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game through 54 games.

Paul and the Thunder will face off against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday for their final game before the All-Star break.